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New dwarf planet hints at giant distant world


Posted on Thursday, 27 March, 2014 | Comment icon 27 comments

Is there an undiscovered planet in our solar system ? Image Credit: NASA
Astronomers have discovered a new dwarf planet in our own solar system and it might not be alone.
Known as 2012 VP113, the new dwarf planet is thought to be 450km wide and exists in a distant orbit twice as far from the Sun as Pluto. It is the second such body ( the other being Sedna ) to be found within this cold and desolate region of our solar system.

"We thought Pluto was unique for over 70 years, but we now know that it shares its orbit with thousands of other objects," said astronomer Scott Sheppard. "Sedna was unique for about 10 years but it's now clear that Sedna and 2012 VP113 are just the tip of the iceberg."

The discovery of this new body however has come with some intriguing indications that there could be something a lot larger lurking in the outer solar system. Astronomers observing the orbits of these distant bodies have found that they seem to align in such a way so as to suggest the presence of another much larger world around 10 times the size of the Earth.

"It is possible that some undiscovered large object out there is doing this," said Mike Brown who co-founded Sedna. "But there are likely many other explanations, too, most of them sadly more mundane."

Source: New Scientist | Comments (27)

Tags: Dwarf Planet


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #18 Posted by 6.6.6 on 28 March, 2014, 18:14
Oh dear
Comment icon #19 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 28 March, 2014, 18:54
Funny you should say that, one of the things New Horizons will be looking for when it arrives at Pluto in July 2015 is rings.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Bildr on 29 March, 2014, 0:40
hmmm... well http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/2014/0326-a-centaurs-shadow-reveals.html
Comment icon #21 Posted by taniwha on 29 March, 2014, 0:54
Lol. Yes. The universe seems full of strange dimension and form. Corners around corners and truths within truths.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Black Magic on 29 March, 2014, 4:29
Darn! I was scrolling just to find the post that cried "Nibiru" I knew Id find one
Comment icon #23 Posted by Capt Amerika on 29 March, 2014, 11:57
Holy crap! Sitchin was right!
Comment icon #24 Posted by Hvashi on 31 March, 2014, 4:57
It fascinates me, just seeing how much there is to learn in this world and in the greater universe. It's really humbling. I can't wait to see the first clear images of Pluto in 2015! Distant Pluto...it's hard to even fathom these distances. Just mind-boggling.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 31 March, 2014, 10:19
Somebody has to do it, so it might as well be me
Comment icon #26 Posted by Frank Merton on 31 March, 2014, 10:50
I doubt there is much of interest on worlds that far from the sun and that cold, except of course clues to the detailed early development of the solar system. I haven't done any math on this, but at those temperatures chemical reactions would take thousands of years, so any evolution might have by now reached whatever might be the local equivalent of amino acids.


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